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Lifehack Presents: The Path Mini User Guide

Lifehack Presents: The Path Mini User Guide

    Sick of the massiveness and lack of intimacy on the larger social networks (ie Facebook, Google+, and Twitter)? Looking for a way to share with who you want and not have your entire life story in the lime-light?

    This is where the “newish” social network Path comes in.

    The premise

    Path is a “smart journal that helps you share life with the ones you love”. It’s based on the concept of Professor Robin Dunbar’s research regarding the number of trusted relationships that one can maintain which is believed to be 150. That means you can only have 150 friends on Path making it feel way more intimate and “exclusive” than other networks. Something else that adds to this feeling is that Path is only available for iPhone and Android.

    Sign up and interface

    Signing up for Path is as easy as any other service. Download the iPhone or Android app and then create an account with your email and password.

      The Path’s “Home” presents you with a timeline of your friends, a small avatar of yourself that will take you to your own timeline, a “Customize” block behind your avatar where you can choose your own photo, the “Chooser” that you can use to post your photos, videos, location, etc., and buttons to get to your left and right menus (you can also swipe left or right to get to your settings or friend menus).

      Adding friends

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        To add new friends swipe left and tap the “Add Friends” option. Once there, you can add friends by inviting from your contact list, searching Facebook, inviting them via email, or even choose some of the “Suggestions”. Suggestions are friends of friends.

        You can also search Path for people via the search box at the top of the “Add Friends” screen.

        Settings

          To get to Path’s settings, swipe right from “Home” and choose “Settings”.

          You can choose whether you want the “Neighborhood” setting on which updates your Path automatically when you change location. You can set all of your identification as well as you bio picture and home “Cover”. Also, you can control your notifications of Path events by tapping and highlighting either the phone or email symbol to control where you see your notifications.

            Sharing

            Sharing on Path is easy and probably one of the biggest reasons people love it. You share by tapping the “Chooser” button on the bottom left and then choosing one of the pop-out options below.

             

            Pictures and videos

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              In the picture sharing screen you can choose what type of photo “lens” you want to use by tapping “Lens” and then scrolling through the different effects. Also, you can tap the blur button to the bottom left to create a circular or line blur in your picture. With the blur option on, you can drag the center of it around as well as re-size it with pinching and zooming.

              There are other standard camera controls like auto or manual flash, flipping the camera from front to rear, touch focus, a select video or photo button at the bottom left, and the video and camera toggle at the bottom right.

              People

              Choosing the people option gives you a list of your friends and contacts. You can then choose one or more and hit the next button at the top right. At the “Post” screen, you can fill in a note and even your location (location details are below).

              You will also notice at the bottom right you have some social network toggles for Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Foursquare. To sign into these services simply click on the service you want to post to and then connect your account. For sharing on Foursquare you will need to pick a location first.

              You will also notice at the bottom of the “Post” screen a small padlock. This allows you to make your post private meaning that only you will have access to it.

              Places

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                Tapping on places will give you a map with all the nearby places (at least the ones that have been shared or are register with Google Maps). You then simply pick a place and you will be forwarded to the Post screen.

                A nice touch to the “Places” option is that if you are somewhere that isn’t listed automatically you can use the search box and then click the “Not Found?” option to create it. If you don’t see the options just scroll all the way to the bottom of the list to find it.

                  Music

                  One of my favorites. Choose “Music” and then search for whatever you are listening to. You can even tap the small play button on the album cover of the search results to hear the song. After choosing the song you are directed to the Post screen to finish up.

                  Thought

                  Type in whatever you are thinking or want to say. After that you can do the usual Post screen behavior and then post by tapping “Save”.

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                  Sleep/Wake

                    Another nice touch. Tapping the small moon button gives you two choices; “Go to Sleep” and “I’m Awake”. Tap on the sleep button and you are given a nice moon screen that displays how long you slept for. Tapping on the I’m Awake button posts to your Path how long you slept for and a sometimes squirrelly little message.

                    Commenting

                      After you start creating some moments on Path and see other moment from your friends, you will want to comment. Commenting is easy. Tap the small smiley face next to the moment you want to comment on. You can then pick a smiley and leave a comment by tapping the Comment box. You’ll notice that if many people saw this moment that you can scroll through their avatars to see them all.

                      Locals

                      When someone posts their location you can tap on it. You will then be taken to the “Locals” screen which will tell you the number of people on Path that are in your general vicinity as well as show you the list of your friends that are there too. This is a cool way to see who in your “trusted Path network” is around you.

                      Conclusion

                      The beauty of Path is that it is easy and intuitive to use as well as beautiful. Also, because of features like making certain posts private you can use Path for more than just sharing things with your close friends and loved ones; you can keep things that only you want to have access to. Hopefully this short guide can get you started with one of the newest and freshest social networks around.

                      More by this author

                      CM Smith

                      A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

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                      Last Updated on February 15, 2019

                      7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                      7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                      Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

                      Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

                      Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

                      So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

                      Joe’s Goals

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                        Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

                        Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

                        Daytum

                          Daytum

                          is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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                          Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

                          Excel or Numbers

                            If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

                            What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

                            Evernote

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                              I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                              Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                              Access or Bento

                                If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                                Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                                You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                                Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                                All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                                Conclusion

                                I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                                What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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